A windshield is among the most essential parts of a vehicle as it provides clear visibility while protecting those inside the car. However, there comes a time in every car owner’s life when they need to repair or replace the windshield. This could be due to an accident, or a small crack caused by gravel.
Finding the right replacement for your windshield is never an easy task. You can’t just walk into any car repair center to get a windshield replacement for your vehicle. You have to do your due diligence and understand the whole process of windshield replacement. You also need the right person to do the job well.
Below, is a list of the frequently asked questions about windshield replacement.
1. Do I need a windshield repair or replacement?
For safety reasons, any windshield damage should be fixed as soon as possible. But how do you know if you need a repair or replacement?
There are two major types of windshield damages – cracks and chips. A chip can easily be repaired if it’s small enough. However, if it’s big, you’ll be looking at a replacement.
A crack is a single line where the glass begins to fully separate. Cracks begin small and often grow over time, if not repaired sooner. A cracked windshield can be temporarily repaired using a small piece of tape.
If you have three or more cracks on your windshield, even if they are small, you should replace it since the damaged one loses the ability to withstand further impact. If the crack is over 14 inches, a replacement is vital.
Finally, any windshield cracks or damage to the driver’s side usually requires replacement. This is because repairs usually leave some spots and markings behind which can block the visibility of the driver.
2. What is the cost of a windshield replacement?
The cost of a windshield replacement varies depending on different factors like the make of your car. If you own a high-end vehicle, you should be ready to dig deeper into your pocket.
The type of materials/glass used during the replacement also determines the cost of the whole process.
You should visit the company and get a quote for the whole service. The quote should cover all the costs and there should be no other hidden costs. However, it’s best to focus more on the quality than the cost.
3. What is the difference between OEM and OEE?
OEM stands for original equipment manufacturer while OEE is for Original equipment equivalent.
OEM glass is that which is made by the same manufacturer as your original. OEE is that which is made by a different manufacturer but to the same standards as the original manufacturer.
Most people opt for OEE glass as it’s cheaper compared to the OEM glass. However, when it comes to quality, OEM is a sure bet.
There is also another option of aftermarket windshields which are made by manufacturers that do not have any relationship with OEM makers. They come at a cheaper cost but do not guarantee quality.
4. How long do I wait before using my vehicle after a windshield replacement?
You don’t just get into your car and drive off after the replacement is complete.
Experts advise waiting for at least an hour or more before using your car to allow the windshield adhesives to cure. If you use your car immediately after the replacement, the windshield might detach and could cause serious damage to the driver and passengers on board.
Other factors that determine the drive-away time are the type of temperature, precipitation, and the type of adhesive used.
5. Is it illegal to drive with a broken or damaged windshield?
A windshield is an important part of any vehicle and you could be arrested for driving with a cracked or damaged one.
First, a defective windshield will obscure your vision and increase the chances of you causing an accident. If the crack is too big, find another means of taking the car for the windshield replacement or repair.
Alternatively, you may call the technicians to come to your garage and do the replacement at your home.
6. What are the do’s and dont’s after a windshield replacement?
After a replacement, there are some things you need to do and there are others you need to avoid.
- Do wait for some time- usually one hour or more, before driving your car. This allows the windshield adhesive to set and dry up. Your technician should always remind you of this after the replacement.
- Do roll down one of your windows – at least an inch, to prevent air pressure from putting extra stress on and around your windshield after the replacement.
- Don’t be quick to remove the retention tape. The tape is used to hold the windshield moldings in place. It also protects the seal against elements as it dries up. It is advisable to leave the tape for one to two days after the replacement.
- Don’t put unnecessary stress on the new glass. After a windshield replacement, you should close your doors gently and avoid slamming them as this may cause the glass to detach. Avoid using bumpy roads with potholes.
- Do not use power washers to clean your vehicle. Power washers, automatic car washes, and high-pressure car washes should be avoided after a windshield replacement.
7. Can I use my insurance to pay for the windshield replacement?
There is no doubt that windshield replacement is costly, but at times, your auto insurance can help you to settle the bill.
However, you have to inform the insurance company before the windshield replacement. Go through the terms of the policy to find out if it covers a windshield replacement. Furthermore, you have to find a technician or company that accepts your insurance payment.
8. Do I need a warranty for a windshield replacement?
Absolutely! Considering the importance of a windshield on your vehicle, and the general cost of the replacement, a warranty is vital.
The technician/company doing the replacement should stand behind their services and be ready to take responsibility for their services and materials. This way, you can always return your vehicle for rework, if there are any leaks or any other damages resulting from a sloppy installation/replacement.
9. How do I make my windshield waterproof and self-cleaning?
You only need to coat it! Hydrophobic coatings do well on windshields, giving you a clear view, especially when driving in heavy rain.
Hydrophobic coatings also protect your windshield from scratches and also makes it easier to clean. When it’s raining, water drops form huge water balls that flow away from the windshield giving you clear vision, helping the wipers to do their job more effectively.
These are just some of the most common questions surrounding windshield replacement. They help you know what to expect before, during, and after your windshield replacement.
If you have other questions that have not been listed above, you can inquire from your technician.